Last weekend a picture of Tee Higgins posing for a picture in front of an expensive car got the social media world buzzing and fans of Clemson’s rivals a little excited.
As it turned out, it was one big misunderstanding that resulted in a local car dealership eventually apologizing to Higgins and Clemson University.
Tim Thompson, the owner of True Auto Mart in Piedmont, posted the photo of him and Higgins standing with a McLaren Spider, a $200,000 car, on his Facebook page. The picture got Higgins, who did nothing wrong, in a whole lot of trouble as it went viral on Twitter, opposing teams’ message boards and internet stories.
Thompson told The Greenville News earlier this week he has since taken the picture off Facebook and apologized for using Higgins’ likeness for advertising purposes and admitted Higgins knew nothing about it. On Wednesday, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney commented on the incident when he was asked by the media prior to the start of his high school camp.
“It is the world we live in,” Swinney said. “It is what it is. I mean, everything is an opportunity to learn. He is one of the best kids that you will ever have and be around. It kind of comes with the territory so we learn from it.”
Clemson has since reported it has been in contact with the ACC and the incident will not affect Higgins’ eligibility at all.
“Obviously, it was a lot of … what do you call it? Fish bait or click bait? Don’t they call it click bait to try and get (you) in some story? That is just the world we live in so you have to be smart and hope that you can avoid those types of situations that create false perceptions,” Swinney said. “But, as long as you do what is right, you don’t have to worry about it.”
Last year, Higgins caught 17 passes for 345 yards. His 20.3 yards per catch average led the team. The sophomore had two touchdowns, including a 78-yard reception in the Tigers’ win over The Citadel.
Higgins best game came the following week at South Carolina when his three catches for 84 yards came in the second quarter and got the Clemson offense rolling in a 34-10 victory.